Black rice sushi, a crackling pork stew and a bacon milkshake – here’s what we loved (and didn’t) at these two new restaurants.
Fatty Bao (Lower Parel), Mumbai
Fatty Bao is already an established option for pan Asian cuisine in the city and the new outlet in Lower Parel brings it closer to south Bombay folks who might not want to travel all the way to Bandra. While the décor might not be path breaking – it is quite schizophrenic, actually – you barely have any scope of complaining when the table starts filling up. Robust flavours and delectable combinations rule the menu with an eye out for detail and nuance.
The black rice sushi with scallops and miso is definitely a star, as is the smacking brie with pickled plum nigiri. While all the dimsums are recommended, definitely try the curried crab meat and tobiko and the pork and Chinese cabbage gyoza. Try the soft shell baos, the pork ribs and the Korean fried chicken. They make for great accompaniments with cocktails during a catching up with friends or a casual work do.
What stand out at Fatty Bao are the mains. Don’t miss the Gochujang lamb chops – Aussie chops in a Korean chilli and garlic paste, served with tamarind-chilli sauce and roasted potatoes. Packed with flavour and the chops done exactly medium-rare, this one’s a winner. The other favourite is the Bicol Express, a slow cooked pork stew, simmered with shrimp paste, bok choy and chillies. Pair it with the superlative bacon and asparagus fried rice (trust us with this one) for a wholesome and heartwarming meal. The stew has a grandmotherly feel to it, like a warm quilt for the soul.
For dessert, we pick the Fatty hill (mint-centred chocolate pyramid with almond praline, rice crispies – you get the drift) and the Cocoa Caramel. The name should be enough reason to order it.
What we like
Really good sushi, the soft shell baos, Bicol Express and the Cocoa Caramel (made us moan)
What we don’t
The confusing décor, generic small plates
MW score: 4/5
A cheery new green-and-blue space in Kamala Mills (where else?), D:oh! is an attractive option for pretty much everyone in the vicinity. The folks behind Indigo Deli are behind this venture, and veteran chef Jaydeep Mukherjee is overseeing affairs, so we don’t expect anything to be amiss.
For office-goers in a hurry to grab lunch on the go, there are salads, sandwiches, muffins, juices and more that can be picked up from display shelves for a quick option. The rest of the menu is concise, yet manages to pack in plenty of options for every kind of diner.
Our pick to start with are the Crispy Sriracha Chicken Tenders (team them with D:oh!’s range of sauces and mayos and you’re bound to find one winning combination or another) and a decent portion of the Amritsari Fish and Chips. Wicked Fries are nowhere near as hot as the menu describes, but they’re a good enough snack. At least three tables around us seem to think so too.
The dumplings fare far better. Juicy Mushroom and Corn are tender and, well, incredibly juicy. Even better are the Burnt Garlic Chicken Dumplings that we’re definitely going back for. The Bombay Baida Roti – with more egg than chicken – is a bit of a disappointment, but a lovely Penne with Creamy Basil Pesto and Toasted Almonds gets us back on track.
For mains, do try the Peppered Mutton Stew – a humble, soulful offering that can brighten up any day. Stay away from the Khao Suey, though. We were put off the moment it came to the table, with the condiments already in the bowl, including – rather to our horror – raw, chopped onions.
Since desserts look generic, we opt to get our sugar fix from the drinks instead. While D:oh! does serve alcohol, we stick with the Cherry Bomb mocktail that’s refreshing, although a tad oversweet. What does blow our mind is the Becky Bacon ‘adult shake’ topped with a ton of whipped cream and crispy bacon flakes. Yum!
What we like
Juicy dumplings, the mutton stew, decor and vibe
What we don’t
Avoidable Baida Roti and Khao Suey
MW score: 2.5/5